A Safe Place to Grow: Little League® Child Protection Program Updated

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The well-being of all participants is paramount, and we strive to create an environment as safe as possible on and around the field. To support this vital pillar of our organization, Little League® continues to keep up-to-date with all of its safety policies and procedures within the Child Protection Program, including adherence to the youth protection standards of SafeSport and USA Baseball’s Pure Baseball program. As part of those continued efforts, Little League updated and clarified the Child Protection Program heading into the 2021 season, which focuses on providing clear direction through policy and encouraging volunteers to educate themselves on these important issues through appropriate training.

While the structure of the Little League Child Protection Program has been updated, the core focus of the program remains the same. As new challenges for minors continue to evolve, Little League has broadened its program to focus on all forms of child abuse, including expanding and updating its bullying and emotional wellbeing policies.

From a policy standpoint, leagues should be aware that an additional search is now required to meet the minimum background check standard of Little League. Leagues must also include a review of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database and the USA Baseball Ineligible Participating List as part of the background check process. By conducting your league’s background checks through J.D. Palatine (JDP), these additional reviews will be automatically included as part of their standard background check for local Little League programs. Leagues are strongly encouraged to utilize JDP for their background checks to take advantage of this integration, as well as to receive their 125 free background checks. Any league not utilizing JDP must complete this additional check manually.

These additional searches expand the protection of our minors to individuals who have been banned in other sport organizations. For more information about Little League’s relationship with SafeSport and USA Baseball please visit LittleLeague.org/SafeSport.

In the coming months, Little League will be providing important information about the updated Child Protection Policy and Program. Please continue to review LittleLeague.org/ChildProtectionProgram for more information that includes educational resources to help train volunteers. If you have any questions about the new updates to the Child Protection Program please contact Samantha Mahaffey, Little League International Security Manager, at smahaffey@LittleLeague.org.